Perhaps you’re the person who wants to read more but does not possess the time to fit reading into your busy schedule. Perhaps I don’t speed-read as fast as I want to *guiltily looks at my pile of unread books* but it won’t be wrong to suggest that I’ve actually become a kind of ninja when it comes to finding the time to read. As a chemistry major student and juggling a course and two part-time jobs together – I am still (thankfully) capable to adjust a little reading time in my life and usually read three to four books a week. These are the few tips which may help you to utilize your time and to finally conquer your to-read list:
CONSIDER USING E-BOOKS
It’s unreal how easily e-readers have changed my perception of reading. You do not need to carry a bulky paperback (or a hardcover) with you if you find it to be a bothersome task. And if you do not enjoy the book that you’re currently reading then you can switch just as fast to another one. Use them on stuffy bus rides or basically any place where you can carry your reader. Sneaking ebooks under the blanket at night while others are asleep is how I do most of my reading.
CARRY YOUR READING MATERIALS
This seems like an obvious thing to do, But it is effective, You get to wait somewhere or are free for a while, simply crack the book open and transfer yourself into the bookish realm.
USE YOUR DOWNTIME WISELY
You have got a lot of hidden downtime throughout your day ( like when you’re eating, brushing, scrolling down your newsfeed) you can add a little bit of reading even if it is just 15 minutes per day and finally finish the book that has been collecting dust on your shelf.
READ ANYTHING YOU LIKE
Doesn’t matter the genre, If the story interests you then you should definitely read it without thinking about anyone giving a side-eye to you. Doesn’t matter if your book of choice is by Stephen King or Stephen Fry, fiction or fact as long as you find it fully engrossing.
FIND A TRUSTED RECOMMENDATION SOURCE
Chances are- They would love to recommend books and would take this responsibility very seriously. I have a fellow GR friend who is really picky about her reading materials and is also a good judge on what kind of book I might like. Her reviews always give me an idea on which book I should read next. Finding yourself that person is relatively an easy task- you just need to stalk their Goodreads account *winks* or maybe ask them what to read next, I guarantee you they’ll be glad to share.
AUDIOBOOKS TO REST YOUR EYES
Audiobooks are a great way for you to retain information and polish your auditory skills. Granted you may want to use them while doing mediocre tasks that don’t require much focus. You can even speed read your book to finish it up even faster. Use them to save yourself from the eye strain from reading for a long time.
Let’s Dive A Little Bit Deeper Now, Shall We?
Perhaps you don’t notice it but you probably lose your place while reading and reread the text due to periodically losing your place and 30% of the time is wasted on it. To fix this you may keep a tracker (like your finger) that would help you not to lose your place just so your eyes can keep moving forward, this is called meta guiding if you prefer a fancy term.
The second part is subvocalization where you say all these words inside your head. Believe it or not- Our eyes can totally “buzz” across these lines much more faster while still retaining the same information. Practice silencing these voices and you just might as well gain the superpower to fly through all those bulky paperbacks.
Speed reading might not be for everyone and some people suggest that it takes a lot of focus and mental effort to do this, you miss out on a lot of information and you need to stop and ponder on the stuff that you’re reading. I believe that reading is a pleasurable activity which must not be made a burdensome task that is why I never set out reading goals on my Goodreads account. But at the same time, if I practice reading at a faster pace I just might shorten my TBR which is kind of an impossible thing to conquer.
Over To You:
Which techniques work for you? Is speed-reading even possible? Or is it essentially just a form of skimming? I would be glad if you share your views on this topic and while you’re at it – check out this interview by Jim Kwik which inspired me to write this article.